Posted on March 17, 2024

Half of All Canadians Say There Are Too Many Immigrants: Poll

Tyler Dawson, National Post, March 12, 2024

High immigration levels have traditionally enjoyed multi-partisan support in Canada, but half of all people now say that there are too many newcomers, according to a new poll.

The survey conducted for the Association for Canadian Studies and the Metropolis Institute found 50 per cent of Canadians agree that there are too many immigrants coming into Canada — a number that has more than doubled since January 2023 but has remained consistent across polls conducted in the past six months.

Last January, only 21 per cent of Canadians said there were too many immigrants in the country, according to a government survey. They were outnumbered by the 24 per cent of Canadians who believed there were too few newcomers to Canada.

“This concern about immigration has traction and certainly it constitutes a challenge to this consensus…. This suggests it’s a departure from what we’ve seen in the previous decade,” said Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies and the Metropolis Institute.

The polling, done by Leger, comes at a time of widespread consternation over the effect high levels of immigration are having on housing costs. In 2022, Canada brought in around one million new temporary and permanent immigrants, boosting our population over 40 million. In November 2023, the Liberal government announced it would cap Canada’s annual immigrant intake at 500,000, starting in 2026.

Thirty-nine per cent of those who believe there is too much immigration in Canada believe immigrants are making the housing situation worse, while a further 21 per cent believe immigrants are “draining the system.”


Among those who believe Canada needs more immigration, not less — a group comprising about seven per cent of the population — 37 per cent say immigrants are needed to fill job vacancies and 27 per cent say the country needs newcomers to prevent population decline. (Canada’s birthrate of 1.33 children per woman is at the lowest point in history.)


Just 10 per cent of Canadians who think there is too much immigration say their concern is that Canadians will become “a minority” in their own country. Only eight per cent say new immigrants don’t adhere to Canadian values and just four per cent believe that immigration is bringing criminals to the country. Eighteen per cent worry that immigrants are taking jobs from Canadians.


There are also similar levels of concern about immigration among white and non-white Canadians. Fifty-one per cent of white Canadians agree there is too much immigration, just four percentage points higher than the proportion of the non-white population that holds that view.